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Soil Hydrosol

2014 - 2016

As part of a group of artists residencies across the UK celebrating the UN Year of Soil, Karen was commissioned by CCANW to work in residence at the new Hauser & Wirth Somerset flagship rural art centre. Meeting gardeners working on the farm, land and private gardens around the site lead her to Saskia Marjoram, who made hydrosols and plant essences at the H & W gardens. Karen borrowed her still and set about digging up subsoil instead of plants, to try and extract something of its essence.

The resulting colourless 'soil hydrosol' is exhibited alongside its still. It smells pungently, but of something unidentifiable, strange and primitive.

The work toured in 2015-2016 in the group show 'Soil Culture' to various venues including Bristol Create, Hauser & Wirth Somerset, the Eden Project, Thelma Hulbert Gallery, Honiton and White Moose, Barnstaple.

Karen continued to work with hydrosols during her residency at the National Trust's property, Acorn Bank, in summer 2017, making the installation 'The Years of Magical Thinking' .